In a quiet corner of the city, four-year-old Kun Oota has lived a spoiled life as an only child with his parents and the family dog, Yukko. But when his new baby sister Mirai is brought home, his simple life is thrown upside-down; suddenly, it isn't all about him anymore. Despite his tantrums and nagging, Mirai is seemingly now the subject of all his parents' love.
To help him adapt to this drastic change, Kun is taken on an extraordinary journey through time, meeting his family's past, present, and future selves, as he learns not only what it means to be a part of a family, but also what it means to be an older brother.
Mirai no Mirai -- literally Mirai of the future in English -- is a children's movie about Kun, a 4 years-old boy who gets a little sister named Mirai and then becomes incredibly jealous because apparently his mother + father doesn't have any time for him anymore.
Kun spends his days yelling, crying, begging for attention, teasing his little sister and being annoying in every imaginable way until several different time travels occur and Kun gets to meet alternative timeline versions of his family members, including the older version of his little sister... after which he still does this exact same thing, but we get to
see why. The worst part is that it all makes sense.
It's hard to decide which part of this movie sucks the hardest, but I did anyway; Old saying goes "your life doesn't suck, you're just surrounded by assholes." and this is very relevant here. Typical for kids movies, Mirai's entire story relies on parents who are portrayed to be a complete failures when it comes to parenting. They are total douches and it's a miracle that our kid isn't any more fucked up in the head than he already is. Without spoiling much, he thinks he is a dog, has a terrible attitude problem and sees people who aren't real. Great.
Let me repeat what I said a moment ago: the worst part is that it all makes sense. Apparently, the message here is that people around you as well as your family members influence you and make you who you are. The more you know the less hateful and more understanding you will become. Which is a good idea, but.
The story and characters in this movie are nauseating, fake and so incredibly bad I most definitely wouldn't recommend showing this even for its supposed target audience -- meaning children aged 2 to 7 -- unless their parents wish to be as good of a parents as seen in this movie, in which case I recommend. There are countless more psychologically accurate anime series as well as light kids movies which do better, even amazing job showing how much living environment and people close to us effect the growth of children. This one uses time travel magic tricks and bad parenting instead of anything even mildly genuine. This is just heartless + its story is more like "do this, but the opposite" which doesn't work -- at least not in this case.
Production-wise, the art design follows the safety route of kids movies, being down grated version of Ghibli in every way. OST choices are incredibly boring. Kun, age 4, is voiced by a nearly 20 years-old seiyuu first timer and (s)he doesn't sound like a 4 years-old in any way. Speaking of the Jap audio.
When it comes to enjoyment, there is a scene in the movie where the dad person browses memes or something and just goes "hmmmp" whenever Kun says anything. That's me when watching this movie. If you want to see a movie about enraged little boy who doesn't get the love he wants and starts developing some sort of mental illness to fight against solitude, then go ahead, this is perfect for you. As for me, it's not very good. Also, Academy nominated this for Oscars candidate so you know I am right.
This movie is very experimental in a lot of ways, and I appreciate that. Is it a masterpiece? No. Is it the best work by Hosoda? No. But it is a very cute movie, surprisingly deep, with phenomenal artwork and cinematography.
The soundtrack is rreminiscient of Ookami Kodomo Ame to Yuki, and each song is gorgeous.
I think the title and trailers were misleading, because they focused on Kun's younger sister, Mirai, visiting him from the future. This does happen, but it's a small part of the plot. The true title should be "Annoying Child Repeatedly Stumbles into his Courtyard and is Greeted
by Fantastical Events that Help Him Become a Better, More Responsible Child." It's a bit long, but it's more accurate.
We follow a four-year-old boy called Kun-chan, and he likes two things: trains and screaming at the top of his lungs. I'm serious, this kid is a NIGHTMARE. I can't think of another movie where the protagonist is this young (excluding Rugrats), mostly because nobody wants to follow a screaming pile of tantrums. And that is exactly what he is. By the middle of the movie, I legitimately hated this child.
Further, everyone around him is extremely nice. Even the BABY is better than he is. The BABY. The father stays at home, taking care of the children, while the mother returns to work and puts food on the table. This is a refreshing 21st century portrayal of a family, especially in Japan where they still kind of have a 1950's mindset of women in the workforce. We spend a good amount of time following the father as he struggles and learns how to do housework and properly hold a baby. Thus, Kun-chan does not get the attention he once got before and proceeds to throw vicious tantrums.
What this means is that the protagonist is the antagonist. The only real problems are caused by Kun-chan. As stated in the new title, when his tantrums climax, he stumbles into the house's courtyard and finds himself in a fantastical world, confronting one of his family members in an altered state. This includes his dog and, yes, his little sister as a middle-schooler from the future. These events have a dreamlike approach to logic and conversation, which falls in line with the idea that these are Kun-chan's fantasies. Why is the dog a human? Because Kun-chan sees it as such. Why is nobody worried about a 2-year-old walking around by himself? Because Kun-chan is the center of the fantasy, and thus his existence, in whatever state, is normal. Each event helps him in some way, and his tantrums die down afterward until the next thing happens. I can't really say that this is a coming-of-age story because the kid stays a kid, but he manages to connect with his family in a new way. Kun-chan is the deepest, most developed 4-year-old I've ever seen.
All in all, the stakes are low and nobody dies (spoilers?), so this movie doesn't conjure the feels that most Hosoda movies do. This is not a drama so much as a dramedy, with about an even split on both drama and comedy. Still, this is a very cute and refreshing story that deserves appreciation.
This is where the movie truly shines. I saw the "camera" used in a way I've never seen before. Animation allows for really cool things like that. The weirdly diagonal house allows for really cool linear transitions to different events within the house. Again, this is the same director as Ookami Kodomo Ame to Yuki, where he told the story of two siblings growing up in school by shifting the camera back and forth in a completely inventive way. The animations are clean, smooth, and lifelike. CGI is used in a non-obtusive way that allows sweeping shots behind a motorcycle. The backdrops are gorgeous, and they make use of them. The sky-shots at the end made the "camera" movement so realistic that I was legitimately terrified of falling, inside the theater...
Go watch. Enjoy the story. Pay attention to the animations and transitions. Be happy. I"m out.
In the planning stage of Mirai no Mirai, significant consideration was put into the designing of the house in which the majority of the movie is set. In fact, director Mamoru Hosoda employed a real architect, Makoto Tanijiri, to design the Oota house. The house is a series of four levels, not quite stories as it were, connected by a series of steps on one side of the house. It's a peculiar layout, as noted in a throwaway comment made by the grandmother at the beginning, designed in-universe by the architect father. A sloped tracking shot near the beginning of the movie, similar to Wolf
Children's famed lateral tracking shot, moves between each level to show how they are attached. The first level is a den, mainly inhabited by the four-year-old son, Kun, and his train sets and toys. The next level up is a lawn-type outdoor area, followed by the kitchen and living area, then finally the bedrooms. Tanijiri planned the house so that a "child will be able to see the bottom room clearly from the garden, but an adult will only be able to see what's right in front of them." The effect? "The child's view will change as he grows up.”
What seems like a small detail of the movie is in fact the most important, as it sets up the entire thematic structure. In contrast to Hosoda's previous grand cinematic declarations on family and life, underlying the superficial coming-of-age story of Mirai is a focused meditation on the architecture of time. Of course, true to his nature, Hosoda interprets time and space as relative to our family histories. For Hosoda, time does not move laterally, rather it flows back and forth through the levels of the family tree, just as the aforementioned tracking shot shifts repeatedly between the levels of the house. Each generation experiences time on their own distinct level, yet the time of their ancestors and descendants are always within reach.
In Mirai, this platitudinous reading of time isn't a reading at all; it's the extraordinary reality of the movie. The expanse of the narrative finds Kun, in the garden of the house, drifting through time to meet anachronistic versions of family members he currently knows. The first instance of time-travelling antics (though not the first scene of garden fantasies) delivers Hosoda's vision the best. Kun, frustrated with his parents doting on the newly born Mirai, runs into the future, middle school-aged version of his sister, along with their anthropomorphic dog. The scene is filled with Marx Brothers-styled hijinks and light exploration into the logistics of Mirai's time traveling. But the scientific implications are quickly abandoned because time travel isn't really the point. Kun goes on to meet the past versions of his parents, and then their parents, learning a lesson or two from each encounter, and these subsequent scenes are more mired in heart tugging magical realism than heart pounding sci-fi. Some may find the episodic structure to be off-putting, but given the design of the house, a matching series of seemingly contained yet faintly connected stories appears to be more than appropriate.
The kicker is that pretty much the entirety of the movie, time traveling and all, takes place inside the Oota house, in the garden, in the present. And this seems to be Hosoda's insinuation: the past and the future are united in the present via the family tree, a statement he articulates in the wonderfully directed climax in which present-day Kun and future Mirai witness landmark events from their relatives' pasts, including a deeply touching famed race mentioned by the grandparents earlier in the movie.
At certain points, Mirai no Mirai offers glimpses of Hosoda at his compulsive, unrestrained worst. Pregnancy fetish and furry scenes can be checked off the "obligatory Hosoda-isms" checklist within the first act, and his penchant for exploring enclosed dimensions, seen in his earlier works, returns in full masturbatory force during the worst scene in the movie, the lead-up to the climax. Animated mostly in (decent) CGI, it's visually incongruous with the rest of the movie's style and thematically divorced as it has little to do with the nature of time or family. It's full of those (POV travelling?) shots he employed so daintily in Wolf Children, but instead of snowy knolls and forests, it's ugly, repetitive train tunnels. It also lingers for far too long, almost ruining the climax. But these pockmarks are minimal and eclipsed by moments of Hosoda at his most honed, absolute best.
Mirai, also known as Mirai no Mirai, is an animated film directed by Mamoru Hosoda. He has directed other notably well-received anime films such as Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Mirai is about a boy named Kun who unexpectedly goes back in time on different occasions to meet his relatives from different eras. This film makes a wholesome and heartwarming statement -- that family shapes who we are and are the primary reason why we exist and we should be thankful and loving towards our family members, even in the toughest of times. This film shows
that family is an integral part of what makes a certain individual’s personality and that family is an important part of society. We can learn how to behave and how to grow up through socialisation. Hosoda accurately portrayed a misbehaving young boy and the struggles of raising up multiple children. This film is beautiful in the way that it teaches Kun to grow up and not to misbehave through experiencing his relatives’ past and future. This fantasy element was so gorgeous to look at on the screen and it was a pleasure to absorb the positive joy it emits.
The animation by Studio Chizu is familiar and meets the standards that they have demonstrated in the past. The character designs of some of the characters resemble characters from previous films Hosoda has directed which creates a familiar yet inviting environment for this fantasy-adventure film. I absolutely admired the opening shot where it's an animated shot of an angled top-down view of households and the surrounding roads. The streets and the houses were very well animated and were quite captivating.
The soundtrack is quite good. I liked the opening theme, "Mirai no Theme" by Tatsuro Yamashita, and the ending theme, "Uta no Kisha" by Tatsuro Yamashita. Both the opening and ending theme fit the anime quite well and set the mood for this feel-good anime. The voice acting is superb, especially by Moka Kamishiraishi who voices Kun. Kamishiraishi absolutely nails the voice acting of a young boy who is upset that his parents are not giving him as much attention since they had their second child, Mirai.
Character development was done well as the film explores the family tree through time-travelling. The film gives each character a moment to shine and give a sense of purpose to progress the plot and send out the overall message of the film. This film is great for all ages, but it has a very important message that might help kids get through life -- the message being that life can be hard at times and sometimes you aren’t always the centre of attention, but continue loving your family as they are very important and an integral part of shaping your personality and how you will grow up to be in the future. Having close relationships with your family members is important and you must always keep them close, by your side so they can help you and assist you in many ways throughout your life. You can’t do things alone!
This is the first film that made me tear up out of overwhelming happiness. It just made me so happy. Other films have made me cry because they are sad in nature but this one was a tear-jerker because of the joy that it put on the screen and the fantastic plot-device of seeing the adventure through Kun's point of view.
I enjoyed this film and this film had a clean and concise ending, unlike some of Hosoda's other works. The start may have been slightly convoluted, but it explains itself and resolves everything in the end to a satisfying conclusion.
I watched this at the Sydney Film Festival (SFF) on the 17th of June at The State Theatre which was the second screening of the movie at the SFF and I highly recommend that you go check this film out when it gets released in your area.